Thursday, October 17, 2013

OSU-Pumice Pit ripoff deepens

A couple of news items this week point out the fact that OSU-Cascades (aka Pumice Pit), and Oregon taxpayers, are getting fleeced by the powers that be on Bend's west side.

Not only are taxpayers paying big bucks for junk land to build a four-year university in Bend, but we are overpaying for that privilege.

The daily newspaper reported that the pumice pit's real market value is $1.6 million, but OSU is willing take it for about just under $8 million. What a deal!

The other piece of land for the campus has a real market value of $2.9 million, but why pay so little if you can get it for just under $5 million. 

Wow, with deals like that, even Gomez Addams would be proud.

First off, no one else would buy the pumice pit, even for $1.6 million. That land is not suited for a storage shed, much less a college campus.

The folks who are pulling off this scam have another one in the works for the expansion of NorthWest Crossing, not too far from OSU-Pumice Pit.

West Bend Property is putting in a 32-acre park at the new addition of NorthWest Crossing. This land is also a former pumice mine. Obviously, this land is not suited for even one house.

And, the developers want the local park district taxpayers to subsidize this park by buying 12 acres of the land, at, most likely, well over real market value.

Look, even the good folks who own this land would never build anything on it, but want the park district to be liable for any small buildings it erects there.

Afterall, taxpayers are stuck with nearby Summit High School, whose ball fields were built on the same pumice mine and we had to shell out an additional $7 million to fix.

So, if we can connect the dots, here they are:

1) Developers are unable to build on land that was a pumice mine.

2) Developers sell pumice land, at grossly inflated prices, to the local school district, park district and OSU so that they'll build on this unbuildable land.

3) Taxpayers can look forward to years of spending millions correcting problems to structures built on a pumice mine.

4) Developers will gladly fix these problems, at prevailing rates, of course.

Ironically, these same folks who constantly complain about government spending on the poor, are doing their best to make sure that government millions are wasted on them.


  1. It's George Bush's fault, foo.

  2. I read and understand your point though if not the tax payers who else would pay (afford) to clean up the pumice land? Do you think is is good to leave the big areas undeveloped and ugly in parts of Bend? I know the summit high school is an example of an area that looks good now. Again I agree it is yuck that a few get rich on the back of the taxpayers. It happens here in my town too. I am thinking 10 years from now it maybe forgotten and will be benefiting the community having a university there?